- The only tip you should remember for having sex during the coronavirus pandemic is simple: Wear a face mask.
- Face masks do not offer complete protection, but they can significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and protect both partners.
- The risk of transmission remains high in various places that have started reopening, including several US states that registered record numbers of new COVID-19 cases in the past few days.
It’s officially summer, but the heatwave didn’t scare off the novel coronavirus as we had hoped. It’s just more proof that COVID-19 isn’t like the flu. If anything, the new virus is attacking us harder than ever before. The infection rate has been surging and the virus needed just eight days to infect another million people. Cases continue to rise in various regions, with Brazil, the US, and India responsible for nearly 100,000 daily cases between them. Some of the new hot spots emerged after communities started reopening, including several US states where the number of infections has skyrocketed in recent days.
Practicing social distancing as much as possible, washing your hands often and using hand sanitizer like Purell, and wearing face masks could be life-savers even if you’re exposed to the virus while you’re out and about. In fact, with every state in the US currently reopening to some degree, now is a good time to remind you that it’s a good idea to wear a face mask even while having sex. And no, this is not a joke.
The novel coronavirus is transmitted via droplets of saliva that end up in the air from coughing, sneezing, singing, yelling, or even just talking. These droplets, or the aerosols they create, can linger in the air and end up in your upper airways. They can also travel to the lower airways and attach themselves to lung cells. That’s where the virus starts replicating, and there’s no telling what kind of COVID-19 experience you’ll end up with. It can be mild if you’re lucky, but you can still infect others. And it can be severe or potentially life-threatening, especially if you have other medical conditions or if you’re older.
So avoiding those droplets while having sex is crucial for both partners if you’re not sure whether either of you is infected. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about sex during the age of coronavirus. We know the virus can’t be transmitted sexually so that’s not a danger, even if traces of it were found in semen.
New York City officials came up with guidelines for safe sex in the past few weeks, explaining the risks in great detail and advising abstinence during the city’s massive outbreak. We then saw English lawmakers banning indoor activities involving more than one person, a provision that basically prohibited sex in response to the coronavirus.
Then came a study that advised healthcare professionals to inform patients about the COVID-19 risks related to health. The study said that risk increases for sexual encounters outside of quarantine, encouraging people wear face masks and not to kiss each other. The paper also noted that people should avoid acts that include oral transmission of bodily fluids, and shower before and after the act.
With COVID-19 cases soaring in many states where people have started resuming regular life, many of them are ignoring the precautions that can prevent the spread of the disease. It’s more important than ever to be aware of the increased risk of transmission. Even during sex. Wearing a face mask might sound silly or even laughable, but it could reduce the risk of contracting the disease and help protect your loved ones.